Monday, May 30, 2005

Iceland, Day One (last update today)

So.  I clear immigration and customs and I'm dumped out in front of shuttle busses.  Before I had a voucher to the shuttle bus driver, it dawns on me that I am leaving the airport without any local currency.  This seems a bad idea.  I go up to the nearest ATM, feed it my card, and ask it for Kronur.

I never actually researched exchange rates.  Like, at all.  It kinda slipped my mind.  But I did take a peek at the in-flight magazine -- particularly, the prices they were charging for alcohol and other small items for sale.  Something that was 100 kronur would cost $2.  But if it was 200 kronur, it would cost you $3.  (Airline exchange rates aren't an exact science.)  From perusing these figures, I figured 100 kronur was worth something between $1.50 and $2.  Not exactly a solid exchange rate, but it at least gave me some vague idea of how much to ask the ATM for.

After the ATM spit kronur at me, a British man came up to me and asked if I knew the exchange rate.  I apologized and said I did not.  "Even for US dollars?" he asks.  "Sorry, no," I reply.  He says, "Then how do you know how much to get?"  I apologized again, and explained I was guessing wildly at the exchange rate.  (I later found out on the bus that the rate was $1 to 65 knonur.  I am too tired to do this in my head, but it did confirm I was in the right ballpark, or at least in the parking lot right outside it.)

Took bus to hotel.  Was in my room unpacking when I got a phone call.  Informing me of my massage appointment at noon today.

Man, I want that to be my first phone call WHENEVER I check in someplace.  (Here I was thinking they were calling to yell at me for the unfortunate incident with the sand painting on the lobby floor.)  I had a package at the hotel that included a "jet lag refresher" massage.  Whatever the hell that was.

I still had a few hours to kill before noon -- which were filled by my hike to the mall and hunting down of the internet cafe.  (I am now just overusing the one in the lobby.  Hey, they said it was free.  And nobody is using the terminal next to me so I don't feel guilty for hogging this one.)  Got back from the internet cafe and got the Jet Lag Refresher.  Which was great, but, unfortunately, relaxing.  I didn´t feel rejuvenated -- I felt all the tiredness of ... of ... of ... going to my grandmother's 90th birthday party half (a third?) a world away in what was, when you get right down to it, THIS MORNING.

Let me tell you how tired I was.  I was so tired, I went to eat at a Pizza Hut because it was right next to the hotel.  (My first meal in Iceland and it's Pizza Hut!  Horrors!  As I was walking into Pizza Hut, I thought, well, maybe I can Iceland it up and get fish on the pizza or something.  I giggled to myself over this.  Then I saw "tuna" on the menu as a pizza topping.  No, I wasn't that brave.  Not when the exchange rate is making this a $20 pizza.)  I was so tired that, although I had free admission to the spa in the building (and a lovely thermal pool a few blocks away), I went back to my room instead as I didn't see myself having the strength to hold the blowdryer to dry my hair.

Watched bad TV for a few hours.  Also kept running down to the tour counter because one of my scheduled bookings (day after tomorrow) sort of disappeared off the face of the earth and we had to retrieve it from limbo.  (Finally accomplished.)  It is now 5:30.  I'm going back to the room and forcing myself to stay awake till 8 or 9 o'clock.  (Normally, I'd say 10 or 11 -- but since my tour tomorrow picks me up at 8:30 -- and my hotel package includes a big breakfast if I get to the restaurant before THAT -- I'm going to be aiming to for a fairly early morning.)

That's it for today.

1 comment:

helmswondermom said...

Hope you got some rest.